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Information Technology Services

Wireless Access

(Also known as: MCGuest, MCStudent, MCEmployee)

How do I connect to the wireless network?

The college provides high speed Internet access to anyone connected to the campus wired and wireless networks. Network bandwidth is managed to ensure an equitable distribution among all users.

Students will connect to the MCStudent wireless network. Employees of the college connect to the MCEmployee network. You will need your MyMack username and password to connect to the network. Personal routers are prohibited.

Eligible:      Students, Employees
Availability: 24 Hours, Daily
Support:     Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

                    Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Is there wireless available for Guests of the College?

Courtesy guest access is available for web-browsing. Access speed is rate-limited. Access to campus resources is blocked.

Is the wireless network secure?

With 15,000+ individually managed devices, the resident network has the potential to be a security risk. Student access is encrypted and protected by a Network Access Control system  (also known as SafeConnect) just like the resident wired network. Network Access Control ensures that all resident devices are identified and are reasonably secure prior to granting the computer full access to the network. Network Access Control checks for things like updated operating systems, secure configuration, and effective antivirus software. Access to the network is limited to students with valid Network Accounts.

The Internet connection is protected with a firewall and Intrusion Protection System (IPS). The firewall permits virtually all outbound connections and restricts direct inbound connections to a select number of special servers.

Employee access is encrypted and available on college owned devices.

What type of connection speed can I expect?

At Merrimack College, each student on our network can expect to utilize a 4Mbps connection. The number of devices connecting to a single wireless access point may affect your connection speed.

We recommend downloading materials for class ahead of time to avoid potential network bottlenecks.

How long will it take to download files with a 4Mbps connection?

Download speeds are affected by many things, including the number of connections utilizing a single wireless access point, distance to the closest wireless access point, time of day, congestion external to the college, etc. The chart below was pulled together from various sources and estimates download speeds using a 4Mbps connection based on different file sizes under the best circumstances (one user connecting to an access point with no network traffic). Actual download speeds will vary significantly based on the factors just mentioned above.

Download Size

Example file

Estimated Download Time

Extra Small file (<=5MB)

A 4-5 minute song

An average ebook

A typical Word document or PDF file

Approximately 10-20 seconds

Small File (20MB)

A low-quality YouTube clip

A 5 minute video

Approximately 40-60 seconds

Medium File (50MB)

A high-quality YouTube clip

Anywhere between 1½ -3 minutes

Large File (100MB)

A 2 minute HD movie trailer

A 9 hour audio book

Anywhere between 3-6 minutes

Large File (200MB)

A typical iOS update

A 45 minute TV show

Anywhere between 10-11 minutes

Very Large File (512MB)

A low-quality movie download

A game demo

A 45 minute HDTV show

Anywhere between 15-17 minutes

Extra Large File (1G)

A 2 hour movie

Anywhere between 40-45 minutes

Source: https://www.uswitch.com/broadband/guides/broadband_download_times/

Source: http://www.thinkbroadband.com/download/

Where is wireless available on campus?

The college maintains a wireless network composed of more than 800 wireless access points. All campus buildings including dormitories have wireless service. Major outdoor quadrangle areas have limited service as well.

Can I connect my own wireless router?

No. Wireless routers and access points are notorious troublemakers on a large network and are strictly prohibited. If you find a wireless dead spot on campus please report it to the IT Help Desk.

Can I connect my wireless printer?

Please DO NOT BRING a wireless printer to campus. Like wireless routers and access points, wireless printers are prone to interfere with the campus network and are strictly prohibited.

Are there guidelines for how I may use the wireless network?

Yes, all students and employees are bound by the Merrimack College Acceptable Use Policy for Technology.

For technology related questions or requests, email us at:

AskIT@merrimack.edu 
call us at:
978-837-3500
(x3500)
or visit us on the second floor of the McQuade Library.